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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Old Glory: a cocktail recipe you can stand up and salute

The Old Glory cocktail is a fun way to show your patriotism while enjoying a delicious, cocoanut and rum based cocktail. What more could you ask for during the long Fourth of July week-end? History tells us that the founding fathers, whom we should strive to emulate, were big rum drinkers. So what could be more patriotic than drinking a nice rum cocktail on the Fourth? I developed this cocktail last year for the July meeting of the Drink of the Month Club, and what could be a better time to share it with you? The cocktail recipe itself is simple, the complexity comes in the presentation, so let’s get started.

Old Glory will consist of three different colored layers (red, white, and blue) in the glass. I use a Pilsner glass because one variation is to dribble Grenadine into a glass full of blended cocktail and let it run down the sides. You want the bottom layer to visually fill one-third of the glass. This will not, however, require one-third of the blended cocktail. Fill one of your glasses one-third full of water and then pour the water into a measuring cup to determine how much cocktail to use for the first layer. In my 10 oz Pilsner glass, for example, this is only about 1 ½ oz.

The next step is to blend the cocktail mix. Blend well so there are no large chunks of ice left in the mix. The mix should be stiff enough to form peaks and to cling to the sides of the blender. You should be able to see the center of the blade. Add ice and re-blend if necessary. Spoon or pour the required amount of mix into a small glass or measuring cup. Add the Grenadine and stir well, then pour the mixture into the serving glass. Then add a layer of the white mixture to the serving glass to fill it about two-thirds full. Either spoon it in (or pour it onto a spoon held in the glass) to minimize any mixing with the bottom, red layer.

Next add the Blue Curaçao to the blender and blend to mix (you may also do this by stirring it in a small glass or measuring cup) to form the blue mixture. Then spoon it into the serving glass (or pour it onto a spoon held in the glass) to minimize any mixing with the middle, white layer. Don’t worry if you get a little mixing, it will still look great.

For garnish, I prefer a maraschino cherry (although you could also do something with blueberries) and a small American flag. If you need a bunch, you can probably buy them at a party store. I didn’t need many, so I made my own by printing flags from Wikipedia, cutting them out, and gluing them around a cocktail pick using a glue-stick. (Choose a color laser printer over an ink-jet if you have that option; ink-jet ink will run if it gets splashed.) I should have used toothpicks, however, because the cocktail picks are too heavy to rest on top of the mixture so I had to perch them on the side of the glass. Serve with a red or white straw for contrast with the top, blue layer.

Here’s a link to a slideshow of this process.

If all of this just seems like too much work on a holiday week-end, check out my list of fast and easy Summer Cooler Cocktails. Either way, have a Happy Fourth of July and a great week-end!

Old Glory

1 ½ oz light (or gold) Rum

½ oz Amaretto

½ - 1 oz Coco Reál® Cream of Coconut (one healthy squirt)

1 ½ cups of ice (about 12 cubes)

½ oz Grenadine

½ oz Blue Curaçao

Combine the Rum, Amaretto, Coco Reál, and ice in a blender. Follow the detailed instructions above for presentation to construct the cocktail in a Pilsner glass. Make sure you end up with enough cocktail to fill the glass; modify the recipe as necessary. If that seems like too much work, you can just pour the blended cocktail into the glass, dribble some Grenadine around the edges of the glass so it runs down the sides (I tried and tried and could not make the Grenadine make nice, red stripes), and float the Blue Curaçao on top. For garnish, skewer a bright red maraschino cherry with a small American flag (preferably one with 13 stars), perch it on top, and serve with a red straw.

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